Tumour cells

Cancer tumour microbiome may predict a person’s chances of survival

Tumour cells have many microbes in and around them

Science Photo Library / Alamy

The microbes that surround and infiltrate cancer tumours may help predict how a person’s disease progresses and which drugs they are most likely to respond to. A better understanding of this “tumour microbiome” may also lead to new cancer treatments.

Cancer tumours are laced with bacteria and viruses. These can be found inside the cells, between them and in the space surrounding them. Until a few years ago, researchers assumed these microbes had ended up in tumours as a result of handling cells in …